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Tri Wyoming





Updated: 2018-03-06T01:57:14.143-07:00

 



Seattle Marathon

2010-01-31T23:07:00.690-07:00

I know this post has been a long time coming. I could give a dozen different reason as to why I have taken so long to get this up, but I won't bore you with the tedium that is my life. I'll just say that my life hasn't gotten any easier since finishing the greatest race I've ever run.The Seattle adventure began on Thanksgiving Day. That was when my mother and I flew in for the race weekend. I had invited her earlier in the year, since she had never been to Seattle before and I knew that bringing along a support crew would make things a lot more fun. We arrived at the host hotel early in the afternoon and my plan was to do an easy seven mile run to recon one of tougher parts of the course. As I left the hotel that afternoon, I could not have known that the events that would soon follow would foreshadow the remainder of the weekend. The events that I am going to reveal here have not been told to my marathon advisor, John Ellis. I began my run feeling well prepared. I had printed a map before I left of the course that I planned on running. I don't know if it was the change of location, the tall buildings, or typical Seattle cloud cover; but my Garmin would not grab a satellite signal. After waiting ten minutes, I decided to take off and see if it would get something along the way. I ran Northeast out of downtown, toward Interlaken Park. This is where the toughest hills on the marathon course would be and I wanted to check them out. The hills were fairly decent, climbing 500 feet in a little over a mile. I was pretty confident of my ability to climb, based on my training and being at nearly sea level. Something happened as I was descending back into the city. I took a wrong turn. I'd been following my printed map and it seemed pretty straightforward. It was probably another forty-five minutes before I got the feeling that I was going the wrong way. At that point I had no idea were I was and because the hills and the weather, I could no longer see the cityscape. I ran a bit longer until I found someone to point me in the right direction. Remembering that it was Thanksgiving and no businesses were open. Upon finding out how far I had gotten off course, I decided to start walking up the hills and jogging the downhills and flats. Before leaving, I had told my mom that I wouldn't be gone any longer than an hour and a half. That time had passed, but I didn't want to call her until I was sure that I was back on track. My mom asked, "why didn't you just call a cab?" With hindsight, I might have, but I figured that this would all make for a good story. It wasn't until I was within a couple of miles from the hotel that I began to get concerned that I might have made a big mistake. I might have sacrificed all of the training I had followed so religiously, out of stubbornness. I determined though, when I arrived back at the hotel that I would maintain a positive attitude about this and I wouldn't tell John until after the race. All told, I ran and walk a little over 15 miles in right around three and a half hours. We walked a couple more miles for seafood Thanksgiving dinner at the pier that night.The next day I awoke, not feeling any fatigue from the night before. We spent the day Friday, walking around to many of the famous Seattle landmarks. I had spent two years in and around the Seattle area while attending school for work, so I had seen everything before; but I wanted to give my mom the opportunity to see as much as possible. We kept it pretty leisurely, with the primary focus being good food and coffee. For dinner that night we visited a highly regarded pizza restaurant, where I had a delicious clam pizza. We watched the lighting of the annual Christmas tree and I made a quick trip through the race expo. I picked up my packet, with plans of spending more time there the next day. The day was finished off by going to bed early.I awoke the morning before race day at 3 a.m. with the feeling that I was going to be sick. I tried as best as I could to convince myself that I was OK, but eventually [...]



This Season

2009-10-20T11:44:45.750-06:00

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As I was out for my long run last weekend, I began to ponder...what is this season? This is Fall. It is the time of year when everything changes. When the heat and long days of summer subside. The leaves change color and the trees (and my dogs) begin to shed. Just take a look at my teammate Jamie's blog over at It's A Running Thing and see how beautiful Fall can be.

For many around the office and Wyoming, this is hunting season. The time of year when size really does matter. When it's OK to wear camo and fluorescent orange around the office. Coffee talk changes from politics and religion to the shot that just missed and the one that got away.

Another season is taking place around here, and that is sugar beet season. Worland, Wyoming is home to the Wyoming Sugar Company (formerly Holly Sugar). Sugar beets are very interesting and something that I had never been introduced to until moving to Worland. For two to three weeks each October beets are harvested and hauled here from all the area farms. This means a constant flow large dump trucks, filled to the brim with these pale white root vegetables. As a runner, this season brings certain inherent risks along with it. The first being additional road traffic, with vehicles that can't give you much right-of-way. This is especially true when they are passing each other. The other danger is that one of them might come free and take you out while running. While it might not seem too bad if you look at the one I picked up on my run the other day; they are solid as rocks and the largest one ever record in Worland was 22 pounds. Imagine that...something the size of a watermelon and hard as a rock, coming at you at 45 miles per hour. DUCK!!!

This leads me into the final season. The season that Team Point Two is taking part in. MARATHON SEASON! Our first team member, Donna, finished her race and met her goal in Portland. You can read all about it over on Nicole's blog at Running Bébé. Congratulations Donna! I am the next team member to go, with Seattle being less than six weeks out now. My training is just starting to peak this week, and not only are the miles long, but they're getting tough too. I'm excited, the finish is finally coming within view. So, to everyone out there, enjoy the Fall and good luck this season!



My Running Partner

2009-09-27T21:43:21.645-06:00

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This is my running partner Winnie. She is a chocolate lab/springer spaniel mix. Winnie will be eight years old this December. She is more than just my running partner, she is my roommate, my vacuum (of food), and my best friend. Winnie loves to run. She has a obsessive attraction to tennis balls. I can't remember life before the Chuck-it. Winnie and I have an agreement that she will get to exercise at least once each day. It may be a walk, a run, a swim, or some ball playing, but regardless the time or the temperature it has to happen.

Now as my running partner, Winnie struggles with the same problem that I sometimes have. Which is forgetting that you don't have to run hard all of the time. When she was younger, it wasn't a problem she could go for miles and never let up. It seems though, that as she grows older and my runs longer, that she can't always go along with me. I have never taken her on anything longer than ten miles and now days we keep it under seven. She loves to run and be there with me. She is a showoff. When other dogs are locked in there yards or stuck in the backs of trucks, she will pick up the pace. As if to say, look at me, I'm getting to go for a run. We just can't go for long runs every day. I give her a day off and feed her joint supplement, then in a day or two she is ready to hit the trail again.

Winnie doesn't know it yet, but next week we will have another runner moving in with us. Moose is a three year old boxer/black lab. My parents have Moose's brother and sister, Hooch and Simone. They were all adopted after being taken from a home that neglected them as puppies. Moose has been living with a family that has several young children and another dog. Because of the trauma in his past, he is very skittish and they were thinking of putting him down. I couldn't let that happen, so next week he moves in with us. As I understand it, he is a bit overweight, but has plenty of energy. I am going to put coach Winnie on getting him slimed down. Maybe now, Winnie will have a running partner that she can call her own.



Out and Back, Not Down and Out

2009-08-29T23:05:58.689-06:00

On July 13th I began marathon specific training as a member of Team Point Two. The plan was to train through the Crazy Horse Marathon in 12 weeks and focus on the Amica Seattle Marathon in 20 weeks. With my ultimate goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April 2010. John Ellis, the team marathon advisor sent me the training plan for the week on July 12th; which consisted of a track workout, a hill workout, a long run, a cross training workout, and a couple medium distance easy runs. Now to be clear, I had been splitting my training time between three sports during triathlon season in May and June. At the end of June, when my tri season concluded, I took two weeks of active recovery before starting on the marathon focus.Day one of marathon training began with a track workout. The plan was for a 2 mile warm-up, 2 sets of .75 mi, 1 mi, .75 in 4:36, 6:08, and 4:36 with a 4 minute recovery jog between each distance and 1 mile jog between each set, followed by a 2 mile warm-down jog. The workout was going great and I was feeling tough until the last .75 mile. As I came down a straight away at 600 meters, my right calf cramped up to the point that I had to stop. I tried stretching it and walking it out, but I knew immediately that I was done for the day. I went home and contacted John to let him know what had happened. His advice was to take a rest day the next day and then to try running again the next day. That workout was an 11 mile trail run, which was fairly painful, but I gutted it out. I then followed that with a bike ride the next day. When I finished the bike ride I noticed the amount of swelling from my ankle to knee, and self-diagnosed something more that just a cramping issue. After the initial injury, I had been icing and popping vitamin Ibuprofen as much as possible. John advised me to switch my runs to elliptical or bike rides. I decided to get in and see a physical therapist as soon as possible.By the middle of the next week my recovery had begun. I had done a few elliptical workouts and decided, that is a drudgery that I would not wish upon anyone. Not to say that elliptical doesn't have it's place in training; but like with so many stationary machines, they are not designed for my 6'4" frame. I visited a physical therapist and we started an aggressive course of treatment to get me back on the road as quickly as possible. They diagnosed me with a moderate strain of my soleus muscle. The plan was to use a combination of electronic stimulation, ultra-sound, massage, ice, stretching, and strength training. I was also released to begin running again with lower miles and moderate pace. The PT continued on a twice weekly basis for 4 weeks, along with ice, self-massage, and ibuprofen. At which point I was released to get back to focussing on my goals. Through the entire recovery John and the rest of Team Point Two was there for me with appropriate workouts and lots of support.There are few things that I took home from this whole experience. First off, when you find yourself injured, remember there is a future after injury. It was immediately depressing to find myself injured at the very beginning of my focused training. I had to be willing to change my goals and re-focus on getting healthy again. Several of my fellow teammates have found themselves in same position this season. All of them have been able to start down their own roads to recovery and in some cases change there goal races to later dates. Next, listen to the authorities. I firmly believe that my rapid recovery was based on my willingness to listen to and obey the advise of John and the physical therapists. The next wasn't so much of a learning point as it was reminder, STRETCH. Focused stretching is every bit as important as the workout itself. The last idea is to be open to trying new things. I avoid doctors and medical professionals if at all possible, but in this case the physical therapist was exactly what I needed. My natural [...]



Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (Sound Mind in a Sound Body)

2009-06-08T23:51:39.835-06:00

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Today, the fire crew of which I am a part, participated in the BLM National Fire Operations Fitness Challenge. The plan is to use this program to encourage our firefighters to maintain year round fitness. By testing them today, we were able to see who had stayed in good shape and who needs work. It set a baseline standard that everyone can work from to improve their personal fitness. Countless studies have shown that fit and healthy firefighters tend to be injured less during their careers.

The challenge that we face each year with a program made up of over 30 seasonal firefighters, is that you cannot make them stay fit during the offseason. That is where we look to the fitness challenge along with a cash incentive for Gold and Platinum level participants; to show the importance of year round fitness. For many of these firefighters, it is only their third week of work and already we are testing their physical and mental strength. As a matter of fact, on only the second day of work for many of them, I lead the crew on a 9 mile run consisting of 7 miles of hill repeats. The idea is not to break them, or to show how fit we are as leaders. It's let them know how important it is to maintain their fitness and how high the expectations are for our crews.

So, today we tested 39 of 41 firefighters. The results were overwhelmingly positive. There were six men that scored in the Gold range and nearly a dozen more firefighters that scored above the Silver level. Our entire program averaged 234 points, which is commendable. We will test at least once more before the results are due at the national office at the end of the month. Everyone knows now where their weakness lies. For me, it is upper body strength. I spend so much time focusing on the run, the bike, and the swim, that I let my muscular strength fall by the wayside. I know this is where I need to focus and come next time, maybe a little more than my run will be doing the talking.



Wyoming Race Network

2009-06-07T18:12:43.064-06:00

The past several weeks I have been racing at various runs and triathlons. It reminded me of what kind of community we have here in this state. I listen to others talk about the groups that they train and race with in their cities and towns. Here in Wyoming our community covers 97,818 square miles. It seems like every race I attend there are more and more athletes from around the state that I would also consider friends.

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At Bolder Boulder, I ran into two different co-workers that were either competing or supporting other racers. This past weekend at the Buffalo Triathlon, I hung out with two other Worland triathletes. At all the races there are plenty of other athletes that I know from other towns around the state. I meet even more people at the races that I look forward to hanging out with and racing against in future races. Now, here's the thing, these aren't my training partners. They are my race partners.

I will admit that I would rather be racing than training, any day. I think this realization is part of that reason. I never use to think of racing as a social setting, but it is becoming more and more of that for me. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy my solo training runs with just Winnie and I. It's just nice to be around others with common goals and motivations.



Teamwork

2009-05-12T23:20:23.775-06:00

When I was in high school I was always a member of a team. Except back then it was a team of individuals. We scored points as a team, but runners and swimmers spend most of there time competing alone. I like it this way. They say to train like you race. Which is perfect, since I spend most of my time training alone At least that was true until recently. I have actually become a member of two teams.The first is a virtual marathon training team. Team Point Two was developed and is advised by John Ellis. This team takes a group of seven marathoners with varying abilities and experiences, all with the goal of making their next marathon faster than the last. We are supported by a group of advisors, as well as The Runners Round Table. This is a part of the Run-Net Community as Steve Runner refers to it. All I know is that it is a whole lot of fun. I am getting support from some great people and great runners. I have also been able to offer the same. I still don't truly know what to expect from this experience; I just appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team.My other team is a bit closer to home. A couple of weeks ago I approached two of my employees about putting a team together and participating in my first triathlon of the year. The Razor City Splash and Dash Triathlon took place in Gillette, Wyoming over the weekend. This is the same race that had blizzard conditions last year. This year was a different story. The conditions were optimal; even though we encountered snow while traveling to and from the race. For the race you are allowed to build a relay team and the swimmer is also able to compete as an individual in the full triathlon. That is what we did, building a team to compete for the corporate cup trophy. I swam and competed in the full individual race, finishing third overall. My elbow hasn't fully recovered from the crash, but I felt like my swim went well. Next up was Sage, on the bike. He is a 30 year old Worland native that is less than six months off a major knee surgery. He spent most of the winter rehabbing and took up spinning at the local health club; while he was unable to run. He had only been on an actual road bike twice in the two weeks prior to the race. He is a powerful rider, with a lot of will power. Sage was able to maintain a 20 mph average speed over the hilly 17 mile course. The final leg was Myles. Myles is a former high school teammate of mine, as well as a collegiate track and cross country runner. His family all came out to watch and cheer us on. The three of us are grateful to work for a program that provides us the opportunity to work out for an hour each day. Our goal was to capture the corporate prize and hopefully set a course record. We were able to accomplish both. Breaking the old corporate course record by over 6 minutes. It was great to be a part of this team. We had a lot of fun and look forward to returning next year to defend our crown.[...]



Check This Out

2009-04-27T21:29:21.507-06:00

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Just a little something I came across on a trip to Cokeville, WY last weekend. This is a sign that could only be encountered in Wyoming. It makes me think though ... maybe I need to re-calibrate my computer. I could have sworn I was only doing 24 when I encountered the antelope last week.



Irony

2009-04-21T18:21:31.388-06:00

I believe that it is ironic the way the I ended my last post. "Regardless, we'll keep on running and looking out for what's right up ahead." The irony came last Sunday afternoon as I was out for a two hour bike ride. It was my first time taking the tri bike out this Spring and the day was beautiful. Temperatures in the mid 60's and not a cloud in sight. I was really excited to spend some time in the aerobars, since up till now most of my seat time had been spent on the trainer or commuting around town.

(image) Everything was so peaceful and warm, I couldn't help but let my self fall in to a meditative state. That's when things went very wrong.

I was cruising along in the aeros; counting the number of chew cans along the side of the highway. To my best guess I was doing around 22-25 mph when I found myself airborne. I quickly returned to earth though and began sliding down the shoulder of the road. Once I finally stopped and unattached myself from the bike, my first thought went to the condition of my full carbon Specialized Transition Pro. It faired amazingly well, with only some cosmetic scrapes. My body did what it was supposed to do. It sacrificed itself for the bike. Once the bike was OK, I had to figure out what had caused this. As I looked 25 feet back from my current position, I realized that I had ramped over the very same dead antelope that I noticed from the other side of the road on the way out. The very same inanimate hazard that I had seen less than a half hour before. After comprehending what I had just done, I finally checked my body out. I wiped off the gravel and bemoaned the destruction to my kit. All damage was confined to my left side, with most of the focus on my elbow and knee. (I will spare everyone the gory pics, but if you are interested in checking out the damage.) My next thought was... this is going to hurt tomorrow! I straightened out my handlebars, phoned a friend for a ride and headed towards town.

My pride was hurt more than anything. I took me two days before I visited the doctor. I actually did a 9 mile run yesterday and the knee felt great. I'll get through this; it's only a minor setback. The term we use to describe this situation in wildland firefighting is situational awareness (SA) and my SA was definitely lacking that day. So for now I'm not going to make any promises, because you never know what might come back to bite you.



Going Down the Road

2009-04-14T01:45:54.961-06:00

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On most days when I'm running, I see one thing out ahead of me…the backside of my dog Winnie.

OK, that's not the only thing I see. It's actually pretty amazing all the things I observe while running. A couple weeks ago while in Mexico, I couldn't help but noticing all the similarities between Mexico and Wyoming. The thing is, no matter where I run, I always get the same funny looks. They are trying to figure out what exactly this tall, scrawny white guy and his dog are doing and why this runner can't find somewhere else to run. Most of the roads I run on were not designed for cohabitation between bipeds and motorists. While running on the roads and highways provides lots of observations; I am finding a lots of things to see on the local paths. Worland has only had a running/biking path for about nine months now. It is quickly becoming my favorite spot to people watch.

I use to come home from a workout and be excited that I saw someone else running. Now I can visit the local path and find people and dogs out exercising at about any time of day. I have seen folks running, walking, cycling and kids skateboarding, I've even seen people driving "rascal" scooters down the path. I was almost tempted to run home, grab my long board and really show those kids how to ride. It's encouraging to see people outside doing things. It makes me feel like part of a greater community. Someday, maybe Winnie and I won't be looked at with such bewilderment. People might just smile and wave. Regardless, we'll keep on running and looking out for what's right up ahead.



Viva Mexico!

2009-03-24T16:10:32.290-06:00

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It has been quite a long time since I posted anything to this site. Call it apathy, call it life, definately can't call it blog-fade though. So much has changed in life since last May. A race season has come and gone. The same is true for swim season. Now, as Spring blossoms, I find myself in Tulum, Mexico with my brother and sister-in-law. I don't exactly know what to call this trip. At times it is vacation, but it is also open water swim training. I can run for the first time all winter in just shorts and a t-shirt. If I think about it though, it is really a time to escape, to put things into perspective, and begin the next chapter of my life.

This is not my first time in Mexico, nor is it the first time to swim in the Caribbean Sea. It is the first time though, that I have allowed my mind to be free of life's pressures in a long while. It is the first time I have used the ocean as anything more than just a playground. Swimming with my brother for the first time since high school, reminded me of how life comes full circle. I may be a better swimmer now than I was 13 years ago, but he still finds a way to keep up. While some would consider fins to be cheating, I just think it as him using the resources he has available.

My brother and sister-in-law have been the best supporters of both my training and my life this past year. They were cheerleaders, councilers, and they challenged me to a 50 mile mountain bike race. Well that last one wasn't so much in support, as it was to show me that miles on the road don't equate to miles on the trail. It was all for my benefit though. In less than a week I will return to Wyoming with a new mindset, a little tan, and some much needed endurance. More than anything though, I will have a greater appreciation for Mexico and all it has to offer. Adios!



LBS

2008-05-19T21:51:33.630-06:00

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Worland is a fairly small town in North Central Wyoming. We don't have a bike path, we don't have an outdoor pool, we don't even have a Walmart. OK, that last one we could probably continue to live without. What we do have though, is a great Local Bike Shop (LBS). Larsen's Bicycles is fastly becoming my home away from home. Last Saturday I spent a couple of hours hanging out, working on a rim had been bent in a recent race. In those few hours I saw a perfect cross section of the community. There were young kids looking for the first ride or their next upgrade. Parents were looking for graduation gifts, while others were searching for a way to spend more time with their families. Older couples were finding a way be together outside. It was like sitting in a coffee shop, with a twist. The occasional out of control youth was bouncing off the walls, while old timers stopped by just to provide sage wisdom. Lisa, the owner and sole full time employee, spent the time visiting with customers, wrenching on bikes (new and old), and slimming the heck out of tires (If you've never heard of goat heads read, Bolder in Boulder's blog.)

I purchased my last two bikes from Lisa. My most recent purchase is the beauty seen above. I went fishing for a road frame to build a singlespeed commuter and brought home this baby for $10. What she had just laying around was a 1983 Trek 560, that was originally sold by Larsen's Bicycles in Powell, WY. The thing was in excellent condition for a 25 year old steel racer. I ordered all of the parts necessary to turn it into a modern singlespeed worthy of a big city messanger from my LBS. I received the care and concern that you would expect from your best friend. For that she has a customer for life and I have a bike for hopefully that long.




Springtime in the Rockies

2008-05-14T23:05:33.491-06:00

(image) My first open water swim of the year was just under a month ago. I swam in Boysen Resevior on April 19th, the water temp was 48.6. The looks on the fisherman's faces when I pulled up, put on my wetsuit, placed a life vest on my dog Winnie, and hopped in, was priceless. They watched me the whole time through a set of binoculars, I know it wasn't out concern for our well being, but morbid curiosity. I then did my first race in Boulder, CO where the water was a balmy 56 degrees. At least, a couple hundred other crazies chose to join me for that one. Other than a chilly swim the rest of the race took place on a bluebird day.

The next race was in Gillette, WY, last weekend. I braved 4 inches of newly fallen snow just to drive the 160 miles there. I awoke on race morning to find snow on the ground, the wind blowing around 20, and a rain/snow mix falling from the sky. I was up for whatever mother nature could throw at me. As everyone was sitting around the pool trying to psych themselves up for the challenge, another athlete asked me if I was a local. I let him know that I had driven in the night before, to which he asked if I was crazy. Maybe I was, but then we all must have been since all 45 athletes that showed up, raced. When I placed my running shoes out in the snow for T2, I threw a towel over them, just to keep more rain and snow out. Then when I flatted 4 miles into the bike leg, I struggled to pry my tire, which had frozen to the rim, off. It took almost 8 minutes to change the tire, with wet gloves on. Those are the scenarios that you don't exactly practice for. The rest of the race was more a battle against the elements than each other. I loved it, I had a great time. Not everyone was happy after the race, I heard quotes about frozen feet and the worst race ever. I bet if you asked to same people today, they would have a whole new perspective. Triathlon is the greatest sport ever and I will be there come rain or shine.



Family Affair

2008-05-13T21:17:45.402-06:00

First triathlon of the year, over and done with. The season started out with the Tri For Your Cause Early Season in Boulder, CO on May 4th. My brother and his wife came along with me for support. The only time my brother has done a triathlon was in 1995 at a Bud Light Series race in Marshall, MN. I remember he, myself, one or two more athletes, and our high school swimming and track coaches made the trip accross South Dakota to olympic distance race near my swim coaches home town. Thinking back, it was an open water, lake swim and I flatted twice on the bike course for a DNF. I spent the rest of the race cheering on my brother and the rest of our team. This time it was his turn to cheer me on. Nothing is more exciting than having your own personal cheering squad. Exiting the water, they were there. When I tried to do a Superman running bike mount and flopped out of T1, they were there. When I came a across the finish line, they were there for me.

Now it is my turn to be there for them. Upon returning home from the race I talked to my brother. He told me they had gone swimming yesterday, the first time in almost a year. Now they are planning on doing the Cheyenne Sprint Triathlon in July with me. I was so enthused to hear that I was bringing someone back into the sport and as for my sister-in-law, a rookie. I am far from being an expert, I am simply a student of the sport. If I can only give them a small piece of the education that this sport has given me since my return, I know they will do great.



Back in Wyoming

2008-05-13T22:17:37.570-06:00

(image) Today was my first full day back from the nations capital. Back to work and back to training. I can't say that I won't miss DC, but it's always nice to be back home. A little vacation at the beginning of Spring is always nice and seeing the District during full cherry blossom bloom is amazing.

The race went better than I could have ever imagined. I had a pretty solid goal for myself going into the marathon and I accomplished that goal easily. The SunTrust National Marathon took place in Washington, DC on March 29. The day started out fairly chilly, somewhere around 32 degrees, and never made it very far above 40. That kind of weather is just fine with me, that was the stuff I'd been training in, all be it at a lower relative humidity. I went out a little slower than I wanted to, but it didn't take long for me to find my rhythm. By the third mile I was sitting right where I wanted to be and I could take in some scenery as I cruised along with 1,300 other marathoners and almost 3,000 half marathoners. I found the course to be a bit hillier than expected; however at over 4,000 feet lower elevation I could handle anything the course would throw my way. By the halfway point I was running right on pace to achieve the 3:30 goal that I had set for myself.

The half marathon was where I met up with a young man from Staten Island, NY. We ran side-by-side for the next seven miles. It was great being in the company of another athlete, we pushed each other along. Finally, we hit a breezy stretch along the Potomac and I just kept pushing until I was on my own again. With less than a 10K to go I let the thought slip into to my mind; there is a wall out here and I am going to hit it. For the next three miles I kept my eyes peeled for the wall and repeated my mantra, "keep smiling". By the time I was to the last 5K I figured it was too late to hit the wall and so I just as well go for it. I had stuck to my nutrition plan all day, I didn't have any significant pains, and when the final hill to the finish line came. I gave it everything I had left. I finished in 3:21:25, running the second half less than a minute slower than the first. I am truly pleased with my performance.

I was even more excited with my wife, who went 3:54 and met her goal of going under four hours. All of the competitors were incredible and I have nothing but the utmost respect for each one of them. I will definitely run another marathon, the word "Boston" has even crept into my vocabulary lately. I know that I can do it, a lot more time and a bit more focus and I can qualify. For the time being, I am going to focus my energy on triathlons. We'll see, maybe next year I will give the marathon thing another go.



5-4-3-2-1-GO

2008-05-13T22:16:33.007-06:00

Today began as any other day, only one big difference. Today was only five days away from my very first marathon. This Saturday I will run the SunTrust National Marathon in Washington DC along with my wife and several thousand other athletes. Am I ready? I think so. Am I nervous? You bet I am. Am I so excited that I can't concentrate on my work? Yeah, but don't let my boss know that.

Training began back in early December, just after returning from vacation in Costa Rica. My main focus was and will continue to be triathlons, but why not throw in a marathon just for fun. The first plan was to do the Moab Marathon in Moab, UT. We love that area and at less than a days drive it would have been an ideal race. Signs didn't seem to point us in that direction. First there was difficulty with race getting permission to use it's planned course. Then the website was not the easiest to navigate. By time we realized that this maybe wasn't the race for us, our minds were kind of set on that date. We did some more searching around and found a few other race around that same time.

I had the opportunity to go back and work in Washington DC last fall and felt for sure that it was some place I would visit again. I just didn't think it would be so soon. We couldn't pass up the fact that it was the exact same day and it would make for a great spring trip. The convenience we had planned for would not be there, but I hear DC in the Spring is beautiful. So hear I am just a few short days for the longest run of my life.

The miles haven't been easy, most of my running in December and January was done in the cold and the dark. I would run after finishing coaching and swimming high school swim practices. I won't complain though, I loved it. I live for the night, and the colder the better. I've done the long runs (22 miles) and the short ones have gotten a lot easier. Life has gotten in the way at times, but I always get back out there as soon as I can. Have I done enough? Ask me that on Saturday afternoon. One thing I know for sure is that I will be there and I will give it everything I've got!



Where to begin?

2008-05-13T22:35:06.794-06:00

Somewhere around 15 years ago I was first introduced to the sport of triathlon. Now I could say that it was Mark Allen or Greg Welch or Dave Scott that drew me in, but that's not quite it. As a high school athlete, running cross country and track, I found myself to be a good but not great. My summers were spent mountain biking in the local Black Hills Mountain Bike Association and running trail and road races. I hung around a great group of guys, that had my same passion for getting outdoors and competing. I also had a great coach, Pat Hayman, who lead by the example that he would put in every mile and then some. He ran, mountain biked, road biked, and to top it all off he did a little sport called triathlon. Now it wasn't like I had never heard of the sport before, I had on occasion spent a Sunday morning watching a re-broadcast of the Ironman World Championships. I just never thought I would do one. I didn't even realize that Wyoming had such things.Training back then was important to me. I wanted to be more than mediocre and adding the disciplines of swimming and road cycling seemed like the way to go. I had swam competitively in elementary and middle school, but somehow ended up wrestling when I got into high school. Getting back into the pool felt great, I had lost my gills but I had years of form practice to fall back on. Road cycling on the other hand was something new, the only time I biked on pavement was to get to the trails. I didn't own a road bike, I didn't even own a good mountain bike (Shogun). Following my coach's lead, I hit the road and began training to be a triathlete. My triathlon training back then was sporadic to say the least. When it came time to try out my first race, the Laramie Triathlon, I took the easy road and swam the 500 yd leg on a relay team of my buddies. I watched as people not nearly as young, not nearly as fit, went out there and did all three sports. I new then, that I could do it and the next time I would. A few weeks later I was signed up for another race and this time I was going all the way. The race started in an outdoor pool. I borrowed my little brothers mountain bike, because it was lighter than mine. And I ran the whole race in a Speedo and a tank top that was too big, so it looked like I was wearing a short dress. I finished though, the Torrington Lions Club Sprint Triathlon or something like that. I can't remember how I did, but I was hooked.Over the next couple summers I traveled around and did several other races in Wyoming and Minnesota. I bought a used Trek 1500 (Teal and Pink) off a buddy, it had bull horn aerobars with grip shift and a lycra rear disc wheel. My brother still has that bike. Soon though, my priorities changed to chasing girls and rock climbing. After graduating high school I stopped racing all together. I still did an occasional running race, but not much else. I did pursue a new endevour though, wildland fire fighting. It started as a great way to earn money for college and turned out to be a career. Now here I am 15 years later with a great job, a wife and a dog. What more could I ask for?Last summer while contemplating the fact that I would turn 30 in a few months I started thinking about the good ole days. I remembered how much I had enjoyed that feeling of pushing my body to limit. I decided to give it another tri. I went down to my local bike shop and picked up a brand new road bike. I figured even if being a triathlete wasn't all I remembered, at least I could do some road riding. I signed up for the local sprint tri just a week after receiving my new bike and it was exactly as I had remembered. I was back in it an[...]